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Derailment halts Metro-North in its tracks


Reports that Metro-North had suspended service on the Hudson Line below Yonkers weren't just trash talk. The derailment of a garbage train near the Spuyten Duyvil station around 8:40 p.m. on Thursday brought the line to a grinding halt.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority couldn’t say when service would be restored. In the meantime, shuttle buses are taking passengers to the West 242 Street stop of the Broadway No. 1 subway line. Their Metro-North tickets are being honored there.

On Thursday night, passengers bound for Manhattan emerged bewildered at the Riverdale station with cell phones poised to call family members or car services to take them to their destinations.

A father, traveling with his adult son, called his wife to pick them up, but she got lost in the dark and winding streets leading to the station and kept ending up near the Skyview commercial strip on Riverdale Avenue. Even after the men got a local resident to give her step-by-step directions she couldn't find her family. Finally, the good Samaritan told her to stay where she was and drove the men to her.

Restaurateur Jimmy Carbone, of Jimmy's 43 in the East Village, was on his way home from Ossining when he was hustled from the train. He had the phone number of friends in Riverdale, but had never been to their home. He was happily surprised to learn that they lived just a block from the station and even happier to find out that they had just thrown a steak on the grill for dinner.

Jane and Sy Siegel were faced with a different problem. The Riverdalians had hoped to take the 9:51 p.m. train home from Manhattan, but they found themselves stranded at Grand Central. They were told that no trains were running north past the Marble Hill station and they waited more than an hour until a "very packed train" departed after 11 p.m.

At Marble Hill they found a convoy of more than a dozen buses shuttling passengers to Riverdale Station where they could take trains further up the line. The co-operative driver dropped them just a few blocks from their Independence Avenue home.

MTA press representative Salvatore Arena said ten cars of a 24-car CSX freight train were derailed.

“Ten cars is an enormous task. In terms of re-railing, the logistics here are not the best because in that location it goes to two tracks. It’s a narrow work space so to speak.”

“There’s a crane one the north side of the derailment and a crane on the south side of the derailment and I imagine they are working toward each other,” he added.

Mr. Arena would not speculate on how quickly the work would be done. “It won’t happen today,” he said.

The MTA is still investigating the cause of the derailment.